Do you need a Meth test for your property?


The "cooking" and smoking of meth in properties is becoming more and more of a problem in New Zealand. So should a meth test be on your radar when buying or selling property? It may be worth considering....

There has been a lot of coverage in the media lately about homes that have been contaminated by methamphetamine (meth).  Recently a real estate agent was censured and fined after failing to disclose to purchasers that the property was a “known drug house”.  Nearly a quarter of the homes built for a brand new government housing development in Christchurch have already been contaminated or associated with meth less than a year after their construction.

It is becoming increasingly likely that meth testing will become standard practice as part of a purchaser’s due diligence investigations when purchasing a property.  A screening company in Auckland have advised that 18% of the properties they test come back with a result of some form of meth contamination.

To give prospective purchasers peace of mind, vendors selling their properties at auction may like to think about producing a meth report as part of the auction pack.

The facts

If someone has been smoking or manufacturing meth in a house, it can be a very costly exercise to remediate.  It is more common to find that a house has been smoked in, rather than manufactured in, but both scenarios can cause physical harm as well as financial problems for the owner. Meth can stay in a house for many years.  Once it has been absorbed into the house the most effective way to remove it is to strip out all materials that have absorbed the contaminants (including the GIB, wooden framing and all fittings).

The cost to remove a meth contamination can be in the tens of thousands of dollars, and in some situations, demolition is the only option to remove the contamination.

K2 Environmental Limited (K2) of Christchurch are experts in meth testing, as well as asbestos and biological testing (including testing for black mould). The meth assessment process involves:-

  • Assessment of the property looking for tell-tale signs of meth use or manufacture
  • Gathering samples from locations in a house where meth is typically found
  • Samples are analysed by an accredited laboratory using sophisticated analysis techniques
  • Reporting (typically takes approximately 3 days).

The meth report will include:-

  • A site map of where all tests and samples were taken
  • Accurate summaries of test results – what and how much was detected
  • How the results compare against established safe levels
  • Photos of every room and sample location
  • Recommendations on how to remediate any problem detected.

If you would like to contact K2 about testing a property, the easiest way to contact them is via their website contact form (click here). 

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